What you need to know
- MoviePass, the movie ticket service that shut down in 2019, will relaunch in the summer.
- Stacy Spikes, the service's cofounder, has returned to the helm after being fired by MoviePass' previous parent company.
- The new MoviePass will offer various subscription tiers and adopt a virtual currency model to let users earn credits for movies by watching ads.
- MoviePass will also be opened up for equity investment, allowing members to own a stake in the company.
The pandemic has not only reshaped how businesses and educational institutions operate over the past two years, but also the movie industry. Many theaters have closed their doors, at least temporarily, but a movie ticket service that shuttered before the pandemic is relaunching with a different approach.
MoviePass will make a return this summer under a new leadership, with co-founder Stacy Spikes back in charge. He announced the company's comeback during a relaunch event in New York City, where Spikes revealed that MoviePass 2.0 will be built with a Web3 system (via Vice). This means that the service will use some kind of virtual currency to allow users to earn credits that can be used to purchase movie tickets.
Members can accumulate credits in a variety of ways. MoviePass will offer various tiers, with a lifetime subsciption included in the most expensive plan. The pricing remains unknown, though. Nonetheless, the good news is that unused credits will roll over to the next month, and you can even transfer them to your friends or family.
You can also earn credits by watching ads or pre-shows. "Advertisers have put a pre-show together not unlike what you'd normally see when you go to a movie theater but this is customized for you," Spikes said.
MoviePass will use facial recognition and an eye tracking system to ensure that you actually watch the ads that are served to you. The eye-tracking system will make use of the front camera on mobile devices such as the best Android phones. If it detects that you've looked away, the video ad will pause. This means you won't get your credits unless the ad has finished playing.
MoviePass subscribers can also own a portion of the company through equity investment. It remains to be seen how the new business strategy will keep the company from collapsing again, as it did two years ago due to an unsustainable subscription model.
With MoviePass's new direction, don't expect to see unlimited movies with your monthly subscription, as was previously the case.
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Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.